Friday, June 29, 2007

Swing and a Miss?

It'll be interesting to see how many baseball fans will walk out after the third inning at PNC Park tomorrow to show displeasure with the team's ownership and management. (who are doing their darnedest BTW to keep announcers from blathering on about it.)
Of course, I love a good protest... and there has certainly been enough publicity surrounding the one planned for tomorrow's Pirates game in Pittsburgh.

The Post Gazette Survey asked:

If you attend Saturday's game, will you participate in the walkout?

Yes: 75% No: 25%

Total votes: 14,079

John McIntire over at MacYapper passed along this interesting piece of trivia concerning one of the speakers... former Pirate Dock Ellis. Not that it is appropo to anything, but it makes for interesting reading. Maybe Pirates management can lobby their congressman to make LSD legal.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Not Just Silly Pranks, Teens and Talking Parrots

I've been spending a lot of time on YouTube lately. Now, I know you are thinking, this woman doesn't have a life if she is sitting in a dark room in front of a computer, in this sweltering heat, in front of the fan, watching videos of a stupid roommate prank and some goofy Leprechaun siting. Well, I've done that, but... and here's the thing.... there is sooo much more than that.

Let me explain. For years now I have been part of this sub-culture trading these grainy second and third generation videos of various recording artists...whether it is TV shows that aired in other countries, or concerts and videos that simply were not available anywhere at all, other than if you knew someone. Just because we loved them. It was an enormous effort by those involved. And I give sincere thanks to my friends...-- and you know who you are.

But now this stuff is OUT THERE for the world. A simple YouTube search will call up Leonard Cohen's Closing Time, or Van Morrison with Bob Dylan doing Crazy Love... Janis on the Dick Cavett Show, or... my latest find... a 1964 clip of Donovan singing Catch the Wind! ... I would never have seen something like this one ever, if it hadn't been for YouTube. And that is why it is so great. I encourage everyone, if you haven't explored there, to do it.

You may just find something that strikes a chord in you.

and... PS ....the Leprechaun Sighting is pretty funny too if you are into goofy things. Over 3.8 million hits so far there BTW.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Avoid Accidental Cat Posts on Your Blog

There is actually software to protect your computer from your cat. Really.

PawSense analyzes keypress timings and combinations to distinguish cat typing from human typing. PawSense normally recognizes a cat on the keyboard within one or two pawsteps.

From the Reviews:

"I recently tested PawSense, using a borrowed cat named Schrier. The software worked surprisingly well, blocking Schrier from her attempts to improve sketchy works of questionable literary value." --Scientific American, March 2000.

Sunday Morning Already?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars

The Munchkins finally will get a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Gotta love the Wizard of Oz. (Except for the part with the flying monkeys which is still too scary for me.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Possibly My Last Sopranos Post


I am officially lining up with the Tony is Dead camp. I may even spring for the bumper sticker... at . In the mean time, I looked at the Zapruder tape, which is a frame by frame disection of the last moments, and also read the analysis there. Some of it is way out -- a little too much analysis even for me to accept without a debate, but most of it, I believe is right on. Most of what I hang my hat on is the sequence of "Tony's perspective" camera shots in the restaurant, and the timing of when it all goes to black. He heard the bell...and nothing else. Never heard the bullet. Never saw Meadow walk in. No more perspective. No audio, Nada. Dead. A deliberate 10 seconds of black. Not a gimmick, not a red herring. Not a fade to black- happy ending. It hits you like an anvil. The Member's Only Man killed him. Who is he? We'll never know. A motive? Don't really need one there. Any Way We Want It. The Mobster rules governing hits, get broken all the time. Tony hurt a lot of people, and had enemies. That is enough for me. Despite whatever truce he put together, he continued to be edgy. Always aware of his surroundings. That is his life. Always was. With good reason.

Plus, I went back and looked. Yes, he was eating an orange when he went to the Spec house to see Carmela. We know what happens when Oranges appear. (The link has all the Oranges in The Godfather.) I just love that touch. A tribute? Likely. For a laugh, you have to see this YouTube video... Godfather, Sopranos Style. Just click it. And also, incase you haven't seen it, the Pirate Parrot version.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Happy Father's Day!

(Favorite quotes from Dad Says:)

Don't ask me, ask your mother.
Were you raised in a barn? Close the door.
You didn't beat me. I let you win.
Don't worry. It's only blood.
Don't you know any normal boys?

Coffee will stunt your growth.
A little dirt never hurt anyone--just wipe it off.
Turn off those lights. Do you think I am made of money?
You call that noise "music"?

We're not lost. I'm just not sure where we are.
As long as you live under my roof,you'll live by my rules.
I'll tell you why. Because I said so. That's why.
Do what I say, not what I do.

If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. . . .
You want something to do? I'll give you something to do.
This is your last warning..
I'm not sleeping, I was watching that channel.

What keeps those jeans of yours from falling off?
I'm not just talking to hear my own voice!
Don't forget to check your oil.
If your friend jumped off a bridge would you?
Stop crying or I'll give you a reason to cry.

When I was your age I had to walk to school in 10 feet of snow up hill both ways!
You're only young once.
Don't look at me in that tone of voice!
Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.

What do you think I am, a bank?
What part of NO don't you understand?
You're not leaving my house dressed like that!

Am I talking to a brick wall?
If I catch you doing that one more time, I'll...

One more thing...

Here's a great list of Things You Will Never Hear Dad Say.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What is Your Favorite CD?

What fun my musical experiment was! I received a lot of friendly emails instead of just the usual spam. Enjoyed some great inciteful conversations. Even heard from a long lost friend. And now...(drum roll please) the list-- in no particular order, because these don't belong on *ANY* list together:


Tom Waits, Raindogs
Sam Cooke’s Greatest Hits

Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs and Englishmen
The Black Crowes, Southern Harmony
Santana, The Best Instrumentals

Nine inch Nails - Year Zero

Rickie Lee Jones, Flying Cowboys

Saturday Night Fever-(if you want to see Travolta dance, click here)

Jimmy Buffett, Songs You Know by Heart

Van Morrison, Into The Music

The Beatles, "Sergeant Pepper" --(blew me away. Who picks this?)

Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run

Bruce Springsteen, Darkness on the Edge of Town

Melissa Ethridge, Yes I Am
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon

The Mills Brothers Greatest Hits


Some things I learned from this experiment:
  • One person from this list is a hopeless case when it comes to music.
  • It's not good to make fun of a person's first answer. Usually they are very serious.

  • Yes, the Mills Brothers had enough hits to make a Greatest Hits CD.

  • One person took the time to list not one, but 19 CDs. And I knew only one on his entire list.
  • Not once but Twice, kindred spirits appeared....and I got to say... yup... that's in my top 5.
  • The Buffett fan's response was immediate. No dilemma there.

Some additional dialogue from my friends' emails:
  • This album has no deep subliminal meaning but musically it kicks ASS.
  • Like anybody, I go through phases... Dean Martin.... AC/DC... John Legend... different things at different times.
  • That has to be the toughest question ever. If I were to browse thru all my cds, I'd probably be saying "oh yeah that one! and that one! and that one!" endlessly.
  • Hard call. I pretty much hate everything that's come out this century. I'd probably go backwards and get R.E.M.'s "Green" album so I can crank "Stand" all day long.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Musical Experiment Among Friends

Looking for new music to listen to can be as hard as trying to find new friends. Recommending a favorite CD can also be tedious. We all know the feeling. You like a CD for some reason, but you don't know if the other person will like it. Or you go through "phases" and don't want to admit that this week you like Walter Ostanek, but last week was Dean Martin. There is no accounting for musical taste. Or lack thereof. Just like you wouldn't readily recommend one of your "old" friends to a new one. Perhaps that friend has a quirk that you just love, but others find annoying. Kind of like music by Tom Waits. (Do follow that Waits link, it is worth it just for the description of his voice.) Yet when I see the mountain of CDs I own, and peer into cabinets at ancient record albums, I HAVE expanded my music collection over the years. Oh-- I just glanced back at my rack of cassettes. Forgot about them. I have a million cassettes that I won't pitch out either. Many from friends who liked to make compilations of their own favorite songs and give them away. I treasure them, because they are personal.

I decided that rather than "fish" through music web sites looking for something different, or stick with what I know, I'm going to ask my friends. They have come through before. Van Morrison found his way to me, Leonard Cohen, Janis, The Band, Jimmy Buffett, and countless others, through my friends. So today I emailed several of them--- a VERY DIVERSE group, I may add, to help me by telling me their favorite CD. Let's see how it goes. Stay Tuned. I get the feeling this will be quite a list.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Last Episode of the Sopranos

Where to begin? Since I had to watch the show tape- delayed a day late, I managed an all day media blackout today so as not to spoil the ending. Little did I know that my personal blackout would be a metaphor for what was to come. My friends and co-workers were understanding. No one said a word about the show itself, though I sensed a disappointment.

As I watched the episode tonight, I couldn't help but feel rushed, like everything was in fast forward.... scene to scene...let's wrap up Meadow's life- future inlaws... future job? a baby... not now... let's put AJ in the Army, no wait, in the movies... and Janis... what will happen to Janis.... Silvio in the hospital... TV commercials play in the background... life goes on without him... and Uncle June... oh, he's gone. Really lost his mind. Carmela meeting with Carpenters, Tony... still whining about his mother.... Life just.... goes on. Unless you are Phil Leotardo. I didn't really get a chance to appreciate his death, but that's something else.

Life does go on.. with you and without you. And hopefully you never do feel the bullet or see it coming. Several theories abound on the net. I don't hang my hat on any of them really, except to say maybe I agree the audience got whacked. We never saw it coming. And their lives just go on without us.

However, the view below is certainly worth noting.

Here’s the “Tony is dead” theory, as posted on Digg:
In the last scene:

..."everytime someone comes into the door you hear the bell then the camera view
shows tony, then switches to his point of view to show who is entering the restaurant. this pattern happens 3 times (first with curly haired lady who looks like janice, then trucker dude with USA cap, then carmela, then hitman followed by AJ, then meadow) When meadow enters the restaurant you hear the bell, see
tony and then it is black. The view from his perspective is black - he is dead."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Don't Talk to Me till Tuesday

It's billed as The Television Event of the Year. And it ain't the Tony Awards. It's Tony Soprano. Will he live, will he die, will he end up in prison? Enter the Witness Protection Program? Be abducted by space aliens? Choke to death on calamari?

Most of the world is going to be watching the final episode of the Sopranos tonight, and, since I do not have HBO, I am in this pathetic, leftout group of people who must watch something inane like reruns of Andy Griffith or, heaven forbid, the Tony awards, then struggle to avoid any form of human communication until we can see the taped final episode of the Sopranos Monday.

My whole routine will be filled with landmines tomorrow. I can't even put odds on if I'll make it through the day without knowing Tony's fate. I certainly can't put the TV on in the morning, even to catch the weather. To dangerous. The radio on the way to work is off limits, too. Some DJ is bound to comment on it, or read a news story that will give the whole thing away.

I even considered a sign for the office door, just in case there are people who want to talk about the episode in the hall within earshot. No internet all day. Period. Email is out. The slug itself on the email may be a 'spoiler' from one of my friends who doesn't realize my circumstances.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Preparing for the US Open

I love golf. I love the PGA. I love Tiger Woods.

Yet, at $82-$206+ for tickets, and the thought of all the people, traffic congestion, and metal detector searches and such, well, perhaps I'll just settle for the live TV coverage of the event at Oakmont this year.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Happy 64th Birthday Eddie Haskell

Ken Osmond turns 64 today. Wikipedia says this about his life after his childhood acting career:

Osmond served 18 years as an officer with the Los Angeles
Police Department
(LAPD). During his time on the force, he worked in vice, narcotics and as a motorcycle officer. He retired after getting hit with three bullets while in a foot chase with a suspected car thief. He was saved by his bulletproof vest and
belt buckle.

"All your life you’ve been kind of a pleasant slob," that's what Eddie Haskell said about Lumpy Rutherford, a friend of "The Beaver." Lumpy later in life wrote a book called, Call Me Lumpy: My Leave It To Beaver Days and Other Wild Hollywood Life.
If you want to read about wild times with Lumpy...Amazon has only four copies left. Really.

The Mystery of the Cardboard Silvio

I missed it the first time I watched The Blue Comet episode of the Sopranos, but the second time... in the safe house before they ordered the Pizza... in the shadows, there it was:

The Cardboard Silvio. I haven't found a "still shot" of it, or I would post it. Theories are few and far between, and I've come up clueless.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sopranos: The Blue Comet

It's like watching the walls of your house collapse in a terrible fire. The structure is disappearing fast and soon nothing recognizable will be left. I guess that best summarizes how I felt when I watched The Blue Comet which is the next to the last episode of the Sopranos. It's been a part of my life for several years now, and it is hard to watch it cave in piece by piece. Silvio and Bobby taken out in gunfire, and now Tony holed up in a safe house, I fear THIS episode really is the final nail in the coffin. There's no turning back. No happy ever after-type ending future movie where the castmembers will once again hang out in the Bing, talk about old times. It ain't over till it's over, but we know. It is.

Will Pauli Walnuts be the last man standing? After all, he "made it through the New York gang wars of the 70's."